Many migrant workers in the UK are over-qualified, work in dangerous conditions and are exploited by employers, the TUC will say today (Monday).
In a speech to a conference in London today, TUC deputy general secretary Frances O’Grady will say: “Migrant workers make a massive contribution to our economy, public services and national life.
“Some have a positive experience of working in Britain, but the day-to-day reality many face is exploitation, dangerous working conditions, and employment far below their skill level. These problems are often made worse by a lack of English, little awareness of basic rights, and public prejudice.”
O’Grady will argue that the best way to prevent exploitation of migrants is through trade union organisation. “But with less than a quarter of migrant workers currently belonging to a trade union, it’s clear we must step up our efforts,” she will say.
She plans to propose the introduction of a social agreement on migration, similar to the deal between ministers, employers and the unions, recently introduced in Ireland to tackle the problem of exploitation.
“This has at its heart support for an open labour market, but is accompanied by stronger enforcement of employment rights and tougher penalties for rogue bosses who exploit vulnerable workers.” O’Grady will say.